Your hearing health is linked to many other health conditions, from depression to dementia. Here are just a few of the ways your hearing is linked to your health.
1. your Hearing is Impacted by Diabetes
A widely-cited study that examined over 5,000 adults determined that people who had been diagnosed with diabetes were two times as likely to suffer mild or worse hearing loss when tested with low- or mid-frequency sounds. Hearing loss was also more likely with high-frequency tones, but less severe. This same research revealed that individuals who had slightly elevated blood sugar levels (pre-diabetic) were 30% more likely to have hearing impairment. A more recent meta-study revealed that the connection between hearing loss and diabetes was consistent, even when controlling for other variables.
So it’s pretty recognized that diabetes is related to an increased risk of hearing impairment. But the real question is why is there a link. When it comes to this, science doesn’t really have an explanation. A whole range of health concerns have been connected to diabetes, including damage to the limbs, eyes, and kidneys. One theory is that the condition may affect the ears in a similar way, damaging blood vessels in the inner ear. But management of overall health might also be a relevant possibility. People who failed to deal with or control their diabetes had worse consequences according to one study carried out on military veterans. If you are worried that you might be pre-diabetic or have undiagnosed diabetes, it’s essential to speak to a doctor and have your blood sugar checked.
2. Your Ears Can be Damaged by High Blood Pressure
Multiple studies have revealed that hearing loss is associated with high blood pressure, and some have found that high blood pressure may actually speed up age-related hearing loss. Even when adjusting for variables like whether you smoke or your level of noise exposure, the results are solid. Gender appears to be the only variable that makes a difference: If you’re a male, the connection between high blood pressure and hearing loss is even stronger.
The circulatory system and the ears have a direct relationship: Besides the numerous tiny blood vessels inside your ear, two of the body’s main arteries go right by it. This is one reason why those who have high blood pressure often suffer from tinnitus, the pulsing they’re hearing is actually their own blood pumping. Because you can hear your own pulse with this type of tinnitus, it’s known as pulsatile tinnitus. The leading theory why high blood pressure would speed up hearing loss is that high blood pressure can lead to physical damage to your ears. If your heart is pumping harder, there’s more force with each beat. The smaller blood vessels in your ears can be injured by this. High blood pressure is treatable using both lifestyle changes and medical interventions. But if you think you’re suffering from hearing loss, even if you think you’re too young for age-related hearing loss, you should schedule an appointment to see us.
3. Dementia And Hearing Loss
Hearing loss might put you at a greater risk of dementia. Nearly 2000 individuals were examined over a six year period by Johns Hopkins University, and the study revealed that even with mild hearing loss (about 25 dB), the risk of dementia rises by 24%. Another study by the same researchers, which followed subjects over more than 10 years, revealed that the worse a subject’s hearing was, the more likely that he or she would develop dementia. This research also demonstrated that Alzheimer’s had an equivalent connection to hearing loss. Moderate hearing loss puts you at 3 times higher risk, according to these findings, than somebody with normal hearing. Extreme hearing loss puts you at nearly 4x the risk.
The bottom line is, if you’re suffering from hearing loss, you should get it tested and treated. It’s about your state of health.